Explore NABS

The Stream Biome Gradient Concept published in Freshwater Science

Published On: 1/27/2015

A new concept for examining large-scale biological patterns in streams: now available

The Stream Biome Gradient Concept compares streams in different climates and different continents. This new concept can be used to develop broader ecological research questions that consider stream systems on a continental or national scale.

Dodds, W. K., Gido, K., Whiles, M. R., Daniels, M. D. & Grudzinski, B. P. 2015. The Stream Biome Gradient Concept: factors controlling lotic systems across broad biogeographic scales. Freshwater Science 34:1

Abstract: We propose the Stream Biome Gradient Concept as a way to predict macroscale biological patterns in streams. This concept is based on the hypothesis that many abiotic and biotic features of streams change predictably along climate (temperature and precipitation) gradients because of direct influences of climate on hydrology, geomorphology, and interactions mediated by terrestrial vegetation. The Stream Biome Gradient Concept generates testable hypotheses related to continental variation among streams worldwide and allows aquatic scientists to understand how results from one biome might apply to a less-studied biome. Some predicted factors change monotonically across the biome/climate gradients, whereas others have maxima or minima in the central portion of the gradient. For example, predictions across the gradient from drier deserts through grasslands to wetter forests include more permanent flow, less bare ground, lower erosion and sediment transport rates, decreased importance of autochthonous C inputs to food webs, and greater stream animal species richness. In contrast, effects of large ungulate grazers on streams are expected to be greater in grasslands than in forests or deserts, and fire is expected to have weaker effects in grassland streams than in desert and forest streams along biome gradients with changing precipitation and constant latitude or elevation. Understanding historic patterns among biomes can help describe the evolutionary template at relevant biogeographic scales, can be used to broaden other conceptual models of stream ecology, and could lead to better management and conservation across the broadest scales.

View the press release from the University of Chicago Press here.

Share this:
What's New
  • Making Waves Podcast Episode 26: Carbon Fates, Dr. Erin Hotchkiss more
  • Fall 2017 Issue of In the Drift now available! more
  • September 2017 Issue of Freshwater Science now online more
  • Does Cultural Diversity Matter to Scientific Societies? Read the President's Environment more
  • SFS Student Presentation Awards! more
  • In the drift just fell into your sampler! The Spring 2015 Newsletter is here! more
  • Making Waves Podcast Episode 14: Nitrogen Fixation in a Warming World, Dr. Jill Welter more
  • The deadline to submit proposals for AQUATROP Special Sessions or Symposiums is now November 17, 2017

  • SFS joins CASS in condemning silencing of EPA scientists

  • Andy Leidolf appointed as SFS Executive Director



    Over 60 logos were submitted by 28 individuals and narrowed to 3 finalists. Now is your chance to select the winner.

  • SFS signs two letters sent to the US EPA regarding the Trump Administration's proposed revisions to the Waters of the US rule


More SFS News...

Back to Top
© 2015 Society for Freshwater Science
Membership Services:
(435) 797-9270 | sfsmembership@usu.edu